How to Improve Your Publicity Design


Attractive publicity design is as k important as well-written copy. Tackle design in-house, or use a professional graphic designer or illustrator. Know how to brief a designer, check proofs, and assess the effectiveness of the design.

Designing In-House

With desktop publishing software, basic design is within the realms of any organization. Materials such as invoices, in-house manuals, order forms, and price lists may be easily designed to a professional standard m-house. Keep it simple. Limit yourself to one or two fonts (type faces) and point sizes (type sizes). Use ready-made templates as your basis, but personalize them to fit your corporate style. Attend a desktop publishing (DTP) course if necessary. Technical competence should be accompanied by a good eye for design.

Business Stationery

Using “Overprint” Stationery

Overprint stationery enables you to have attractive and professional design without the expense of commissioning original design. Specialist suppliers produce attractive designs of letterheads and business stationer)7, menus, invoices, leaflets, posters, and other publicity material. This is then overprinted on a laser printer or photocopier with your own text, address, and other information. Slightly more costly are personalized “empty belly” leaflets or posters. Similar in principle to overprint stationer)’, these are designed just for you and may incorporate your logo and corporate colours.

Finding a Designer

It is important to use designers wherever possible, since poor design will reflect badly on your reputation. Professional training and know-how enables them to do a better job than even the keenest amateur. If you do not already have a good relationship with a designer, find one you can work with. Use either a design consultancy or a freelance. Some designers charge significantly more than others, but quality and price do not always go hand in hand, so shop around. Ask about fees during any initial discussions. Most designers will show you their best work, usually to be found in high-budget, lavish productions. Ask to see examples of both low- and mid-budget work too. Their ability to tackle a low-budget commission well is a good indicator of their general ability and creativity.

Commissioning Illustration

Graphic designers take text and produce layouts using special computer design packages. Illustrators provide designers with drawings, paintings, and other illustrations, usually produced on paper. Your designer should be able to put you in touch with an illustrator who can produce the style of artwork you are looking for. Like artists, illustrators have their own distinct style – perhaps very detailed and lifelike, or bold abstract work. Ask to see an illustrator’s portfolio to satisfy yourself that you like their style.

Establishing a House Style

To ensure that all your material is seen to come from the same stable, establish your own house style. Specify the font and colours to be used. These will probably be taken from your corporate identity. State how large your logo must be (or how small it can go) and where it should be positioned. House style can cover words as well as design. Produce guidelines to ensure consistency. Explain, for example, what the acceptable writing style is, or how words with alternative spellings should be spelt. Give copies to anyone responsible for writing or designing material.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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